MINNEAPOLIS -- U.S. national team members Mark Ruiz and Rachelle Kunkel won titles Saturday in the American Cup diving competition at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Ruiz, sixth in the 10-meter platform at the 2000 Olympics, won
the event with 1,036.17 points. Kunkel took the women's 3-meter
springboard with 772.41 points.
Kunkel, representing the Trojan Dive Club of Los Angeles, was
second in the competition after the semifinals. Her final dive -- a
forward pike 3½ somersault -- earned her 70.68 points, good enough
to hold off the University of Iowa's Nancilea Underwood and 2000
U.S. Olympian Sara Hildebrand.
Ruiz entered the final in the top spot and stayed there
throughout the competition. His second dive, an inward tuck 3½
somersault, which carried a difficulty degree of 3.2, was the best
of the night, registering an 86.4. Ruiz topped fellow national team
members Caesar Garcia (1,107.87) and Thomas Finchum (977.55).
The event, which began Thursday, was the last chance for divers
to earn points toward qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials,
scheduled for June 7-13 in St. Peters, Mo.